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              Basketball's role in Hollywood films was examined by
         Lance Gould of the N.Y. POST, who noted that movies such as
         Jordan's "Space Jam," and Shaq's "Kazaam," are "just the
         beginning of a full-court press that basketball will be
         making on the entertainment world, as studio heads are
         seeing nothing but net gross" (N.Y. POST, 3/31)....Designer
         Joseph Abboud has signed a long-term deal with CBS Sports to
         provide the wardrobe for the male studio announcers for the
         broadcasts of the network's sporting events throughout '97
         (Joseph Abboud)....The Kings' Mitch Richmond had a national
         ad debut for Foot Locker featuring Nike's new shoe, the "Air
         Bakin'." The ad shows Richmond in the shoes, which are not
         yet in stores (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/31).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Nike, Viacom

              MBNA Corp. signed an exclusive deal to become the
         official credit-card issuer of MLB, according to the WALL
         STREET JOURNAL.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but
         "people familiar" with the pact said the five-year deal
         "could produce" up to $5M in annual revenue for MLB.  The
         deal includes use of logos for all the teams and other
         league-related marks.  In addition to an annual rights fee
         "of more than" $1M, MLB "will receive a fixed amount for
         every affinity card sign-up plus a percentage of card
         billings."  Sources added that Visa "is nearing" a national
         sponsorship with MLB  (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/28).
              SO MUCH FOR RUSSELL BEING OUT:  Russell Athletic's deal
         as the official supplier of MLB team uniforms has been
         extended through the '98 season (Russell).  Russell's deal
         was to expire at the end of this season (AD AGE, 3/31).  In
         N.Y., Steve Zipay reported that Nike "has suspended all
         talks" with MLB teams about local sponsorship deals because
         uniforms are not included.  Nike "plans to focus on its
         athletes," including Ken Griffey Jr. (NEWSDAY, 3/28).
              BOSTON: The GLOBE's Dan Shaughnessy, on the three giant
         fiberglass Coca-Cola bottles added atop Fenway Park's Green
         Monster: "It's a shocker, like standing outside the Sistine
         Chapel and seeing a sign announcing, 'Thursday is Bingo
         Night.' ... it's as if Billy Payne and [ACOG] landed in
         Boston."  Red Sox VP Dick Bresciani: "We didn't want a neon
         flashing bottle.  Nothing obstructive.  This is an old-style
         bottle, one that's well known.  The cap doesn't pop off. 
         There's no Coke shooting in the air.  We felt like we
         weren't ruining Fenway Park because for years there have
         been signs on and around Fenway" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/29).  
              NEW YORK: The Yankees' Derek Jeter is on the cover of
         NEW YORK under the header "The Natural."  NEW YORK's James
         Kaplan writes that, "For the moment, Jeter's image -- in New
         York ... couldn't be stronger."  But he notes some market
         insiders claim Jeter is being "undersold."  Jeter, through
         his agent, IMG's Casey Close, recently signed a shoe deal
         with Fila, two weeks before the Yankees deal with adidas,
         "under which Jeter almost certainly would have made far
         more" (NEW YORK, 4/7 issue).  NEWSDAY's David Lennon notes
         MLB lawyers are discovering that the Yankees "did not
         violate any rules" in their deal with adidas and sources
         indicated MLB will not challenge the "unprecedented one-team
         deal that will separate baseball's richest club even further
         from the pack" (NEWSDAY, 3/31).  The Yankees signed a multi-
         year deal with ANC Sports Enterprises, LLC to use the Space
         & Time rotational signage system starting with he '97
         season. The signage will be behind home plate and behind the
         first and third base lines (ANC Sports).
              NOTES: USA TODAY's Hal Bodley called MLB's "ridiculous
         'March to Opening Day' promotion ... a bomb" (USA TODAY,
         3/28)....Eastman Kodak's three-year marketing deal with the
         Braves and Turner Field announced last week is estimated by
         sources to be in the $7-8M range (MEDIAWEEK, 3/31 issue).   

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Coca-Cola, IMG, MLB, New York Yankees, Nike, Visa, Washington Nationals

              Thuyen Nguyen, founder of Vietnam Labor Watch, issued a
         12-page report on Thursday detailing labor conditions at
         Nike's plants in Vietnam, according to Jeff Manning of the
         Portland OREGONIAN.  USA TODAY was the first to report the
         details in Thursday's editions.  Nguyen: "Nike is not
         enforcing or monitoring very carefully.  They're just going
         through the motions."  Manning wrote although Nike execs
         "have constantly said the company's well-being depends on
         cheap overseas labor," Nguyen thinks Nike's policies "may be
         putting the company in harm's way."  Nguyen: "They're making
         a lot of money. I don't know what they're thinking about to
         risk this incredible franchise" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/28). 
         Nguyen: "Nike has a good code of conduct.  If it wants to,
         the company could enforce that code" ("Business Tonight,"
         CNBC, 3/27).  Hsu Chin-yun, a factory manager at a Nike
         subcontractor in Vietnam who had been suspended last week
         following the release of the report, has been charged with
         abusing employees (USA TODAY, 4/1). 
         PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER'S Paul Davies questioned Nike
         sponsored coaches and programs in Indianapolis at the NCAA
         Final Four about the report and noted that most people
         interviewed "were either unaware of the report or did not
         care."  Idaho State AD Irv Cross: "I haven't really thought
         about it."  Temple Coach John Chaney: "Why are you going to
         pick Nike?  Every company does it. You should focus on the
         bigger problem of jobs leaving America."  More Chaney, in
         response to suggestions that Michael Jordan could influence
         Nike to change policies: "What the ... is Michael going to
         do?  Now you are going to pick on Michael.  Why should he
         stick his neck out and risk his endorsement deals?  You got
         a ... problem with Michael making money?  Michael should
         pick up every ... dollar possible.  If you want to go after
         someone, go after Bill Gates."  Asked by Davies, NBA VP
         Brian McIntyre said that it "was the responsibility of
         companies, not athletes to do the right thing."  McIntyre:
         "This is a Nike business issue" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 3/31).
              MORE REAX: In a N.Y. TIMES Op-Ed, Bob Herbert: "Rather
         than crack down on abusive conditions in factories, Nike has
         resorted to an international public relations campaign to
         give the appearance that it cares about workers"
         (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE/N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).  Nike Dir of
         Labor Practices Dusty Kidd: "Bring us information we can
         use, and we'll do our damndest to correct any situations
         that are wrong" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/1).  ESPN's Charley
         Steiner added that Nike was "kicked right in its swoosh" by
         the "scathing report" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/27). 

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBA, NCAA, Nike, Walt Disney

              The 39 victims of the Rancho Santa Fe mass suicide were
         all wearing brand new black Nike running shoes, a fact that
         was picked up in the weekend press.  A former Heaven's Gate
         cult member named Sawyer, on CBS' "60 Minutes," was asked by
         Lesley Stahl why the victims were wearing Nikes.  Sawyer:
         "It was just a fun kind of uniform ... something - something
         to go into the - to - it was kind of representative of
         moving into the new ... level, being fresh and clean" ("60
         Minutes," CBS, 3/30).  Nike execs were "puzzled" by the
         "numerous" media calls about sneakers worn by the victims,
         according to the N.Y. POST.  Nike spokesperson McClain
         Ramsey: "This is a tragedy - it's not about shoes or
         clothes, it's about a great American tragedy" (N.Y. POST,
         3/30).  In San Diego, Uri Berliner: "If this is publicity
         Nike doesn't relish, it was perhaps inevitable, given the
         wide swath the image-setting company cuts across the popular
         culture" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/29).  In Hartford,
         under the header "Suicides May Put Nike In Spotlight,"
         Matthew Kauffman noted, "Bizarre publicity can still affect
         a company that finds itself inadvertently in the news"
         (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/1).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Nike, Viacom

              Quaker Oats Co. sold Snapple beverages to N.Y.-based
         Triarc Cos. for $300M, according to Nancy Millman in the
         CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  Millman: "Analysts were unanimously
         pleased that Quaker was able to shed Snapple, its money pit,
         without having to sell Gatorade, its biggest cash-
         generator."  Gatorade had $1.4B in sales for Quaker in '96.
         Millman notes with about 80% of the sports drink market and
         Michael Jordan as its spokesperson, "it would seem that
         Gatorade's growth is guaranteed" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/29).


              PepsiCo was "forced" by the NCAA to pull a new ad
         featuring Shaquille O'Neal from CBS' Final Four coverage,
         according to Steve Zipay in NEWSDAY.  NCAA rules ban pro
         basketball players in uniform from appearing in ads during
         the NCAA tournament.  Pepsi created the 60-second spot, a
         "spoof" on the 70's-movie "Shaft," in which O'Neal wears
         Lakers colors in an arena similar to the Great Western
         Forum, specifically for the Final Four (NEWSDAY, 3/28).
         O'Neal's agent, Leonard Armato: "If the Pope had said the
         commercial might have an impact on young people, I might buy
         it.  But not the NCAA.  It doesn't make a lot of sense.
         What, seeing Shaq in a yellow jersey in a commercial is
         going to influence kids to quit school and go pro?  I don't
         think so." Armato said the yellow jersey that O'Neal wears
         in the ad has No. 34 on it but it is not a Laker jersey. 
         O'Neal could not wear his Lakers jersey because Coca-Cola
         has an exclusive deal with the NBA (L.A. TIMES, 3/31). 
              WORD FROM SHAQ: O'Neal: "I do not care about the NCAA,
         they jerked me around when I was in college, so forget them
         anyway."  NCAA statement: "We felt like this ad promoted
         Shaq more than it promoted Pepsi."  Pepsi spokesperson Brad
         Shaw: "This is about some guys at the NCAA kind of cramping
         Shaq's style a little bit.  ... In the end ... the spot's
         going to be famous" ("Access Hollywood," 3/28).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Coca-Cola, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NCAA, PepsiCo, Viacom
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